Act No. 243
To read this article in Filipino, see this.
Act. No. 243
AN ACT granting the right to use public land upon the Luneta in the city of Manila upon which to erect a statue to Jose Rizal, from a fund to be raised by public subscriptions, and prescribing as a condition the method by which such subscription shall be collected and disbursed.
By authority of the President of the United States, be it enacted by the United States Philippine Commission, that:
Whereas, It has been proposed that a monument shall be erected to Jose Rizal, the Philippine patriot writer and poet, upon the Luneta in the city of Manila, and that the expense of the construction and erection of such monument shall be defrayed from a fund raised by public subscription, and
Whereas, it is necessary to the execution of this proposal that there should be a grant by constituted authority of the right to erect the monument upon the public land known as the Luneta.
The Municipal Board of the city of Manila, with the concurrence of the Advisory Board, is hereby authorized to grant permission to the committee hereafter constituted to erect the monument above mentioned upon any place upon the Luneta which may be agreed upon by the Municipal Board, the Advisory Board and the committee hereafter constituted, with the approval of the Civil Governor, on condition that the committee in charge of raising the fund and constructing the monument, and the method of raising subscriptions and disbursing the funds, shall be as hereafter provided.
The committee for raising the funds by subscription for causing the erection of the monument and the expenditure of the funds shall be Pascual Poblete, Paciano Rizal, Juan Tuason, Teodoro R. Yangco, Mariano Limjap, Maximino Paterno, Ramon Genato, Tomas G. del Rosario, Dr. Ariston Bautista.
The committee shall elect a chairman and a secretary and shall certify its action in this respect to the Insular Auditor and to the Insular Treasurer. Vacancies in the committee occurring by resignation or death shall be filled by the committee, with the approval of the Civil Governor.
Subscriptions shall be collected by the committee or by agents regularly appointed by the committee, whose authority to collect subscriptions shall be evidenced by the possession of receipt-books to be prepared and issued by the Insular Treasury to the persons so authorized. It shall be the duty of the person so authorized to give a receipt to the subscriber for the amount collected, and to deposit the money collected with the Insular Treasurer at the Intendencia Building upon the day following the collection, where the collection shall be made in Manila, and as soon as practicable when collections are made outside of Manila. The Insular Treasurer shall issue a special receipt for each deposit so made, which receipt shall be invalid without the countersignature of the Insular Auditor. The Insular Auditor shall keep an account of the money thus deposited in the Treasury. The collector shall furnish to the Treasurer a list of the contributors, which list shall be made public, through the press or otherwise, at the close of each week.
The funds thus collected shall be expended by the committee in any way which will contribute to the object of the subscription, to-witness the erection of a suitable monument, and this may include the regular payment of collection agents upon a percentage or per diem basis, as may seem wise to the committee. The members of the committee shall serve without compensation. The committee shall have power to offer prizes for designs for a suitable monument and to employ competent artists and sculptors to select the most appropriate design. The committee shall have charge of any ceremonies attending the laying of the corner-stone of the monument or its unveiling, subject to the approval of the Civil Governor.
The funds collected in the Insular Treasury, a report of which shall be made monthly by the joint report of the Insular Treasurer and Auditor to the committee, shall be disbursed upon order of the committee, evidenced by warrant of the president, countersigned by the secretary of the committee, and accompanied by an itemized statement of the purposes for which the money was disbursed. The accounts shall be audited by the Insular Auditor quarterly and a public statement made by the Auditor of the result of his auditing. Should any surplus fund remain after the payment of all the expenses of the erection of the monument, including the payment of the sculptor and incidental expenses, the committee shall have power to devote the surplus to any charitable, educational or other public purpose which it may deem wise and proper.
The public good requiring the speedy enactment of this bill, the passage of the same is hereby expedited in accordance with section 2 of "An Act Prescribing the Order of Procedure by the Commission in the Enactment of Laws," passed September 26, 1900.
This act shall take effect on its passage. Enacted, September 28, 1901.
The United States-Philippine Commission approved this to venerate the memory of Jose Rizal, the Philippine patriot, writer, poet and hero. The act formed a committee consisting of Pascual Poblete, Paciano Rizal, Juan Tuason, Teodoro R. Yangco, Mariano Limjap, Maximino Paterno, Ramon Genato, Tomas G. del Rosario, and Dr. Ariston Bautista. They were tasked to raise funds for the monument. The insular government donated ₱30,000 for the fund. The goal had been oversubscribed by January 1905. But the amount raised had reached ₱135,195.61 by the time the campaign closed in August 1912.
The committee also held an international design competition. The competition invited sculptors from Europe and the United States at which they must submit entries having only an estimated cost of ₱100,000 using local materials. It started in 1905 and was closed by 1907. The act declared that the monument would not only stand a statue of the hero, but would also be the dwelling place of his remains. The act was approved by United States President Theodore Roosevelt.
Carlos Nicoli of Carrara, Italy for his scaled plaster model titled “Al Martir de Bagumbayan” (To the Martyr of Bagumbayan) won first place in the design competition defeating 40 entries. But the contract was awarded to a Swiss sculptor named Richard Kissling, who was the second placer, for his “Motto Stella” (Guiding Star). The winning designs were exhibited in the Marble Hall of the Ayuntamiento in Intramuros. The panel of judges consisted of non-artists headed by then American Governor of the Philippines Frank Smith.
The monument was approved after more than twelve years and was unveiled on December 30, 1913, in time for Dr. Jose Rizal’s 17th death anniversary. His poem "Mi Ultimo Adios" (My Last Farewell) is emblazoned on the memorial commemorative inscription.